It has been a month since I did my first cuts with the new machine, and yet those very cuts were already the start of the next machine.
I started by creating a new cad project and importing all of the pieces that I felt worked from the old project and then began modifying them to eliminate things that did not work as well as I would have liked. I then proceeded to make a number of changes I thought would make the machine better and easier to assembly. I think the results are a little mixed, I really like look of the new design, and I think it will be easier to assemble and more sturdy overall, however I nearly doubled the number of cross dowel connections being used which adds complexity to the production and build process.
I decided to make another attempt (my 3rd) at using Sketchup to assemble things in 3d to try and catch any errors before I start cutting. And thanks to a Goggle search which turned up this blog entry: In Sketchup… How to Import & Trace 2D CAD Drawings, and another 9 months experience playing around with cad programs it actually worked this time.
The machine was designed with a 24″ x 48″ cutting area in mind, but it should be easy to build up to a 24″ x 60″ cutting area (~36″ x ~72″ foot print), the one shown has a 12″ x 36″ cutting area with a foot print of ~24″ x ~48″.
Here are some more static images to help complete the picture.